Amey Rail Limited has acquired a large number of the Network Rail contracts held by failed construction firm Carillion, safeguarding roughly 700 rail and supply chain jobs.

Network Rail hailed the agreement, saying that it would provide reassurance and continuity for railway workers and subcontractors across the supply chain and the breadth of the UK. The contracts acquired by Amey cover major projects in London, the East Midlands and North West England.

“This is a positive step for the industry, ensuring the delivery of a number of major rail projects across the country whilst safeguarding an expected 700 jobs and the wider supply chain,” said Network Rail’s Commercial Director Matthew Steele. “We look forward to working with Amey to enable a smooth transition and ensure the ongoing safe working on our sites.”

Steele went on to praise Carillion employees who have continued to labour on Network Rail projects despite the collapse of their employer, recognising that it has been a period of great uncertainty for former employees of Carillion. Steele offered his gratitude for their commitment to delivering on previously agreed projects.

He mentioned that Network Rail remained focused on unfinished projects, highlighting the necessity to concentrate on transferring remaining developments and the employees involved to new schemes over the next few months.

Union leaders and workers’ representatives also welcomed the news but sounded a note of caution.

Manuel Cortes, leader of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, claimed that he was heartened by the news that jobs will be protected following the Amey purchase of areas of the rail business which were formerly under Carillion’s remit. However, he also expressed his reservations.

“But the collapse of Carillion shouldn’t be an excuse to undermine our members’ contracts. I am urgently seeking a meeting with the company to seek assurances that our members’ terms and conditions including pensions will be safeguarded.”